How to Use Two HomePods as a Stereo Pair With the Apple TV


The top of an Apple HomePod.
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If you own more than one HomePod, you can create a stereo pair that syncs with your Apple TV. This is more than just two HomePods playing the same music: You can split the left and right channels for a more immersive listening experience.

Unfortunately, this only works with the original HomePod—the larger, more expensive model. You can’t do it with the HomePod mini or any other AirPlay speakers.

First, Specify Your Apple TV’s Location

The Apple TV (fourth generation and above) is a HomeKit hub, but it may not show up in your Home app until you specify which room you’ve placed it in. To do this, turn on the Apple TV and head to Settings > Airplay and HomeKit > Room.

Specify Which Room Your Apple TV is in

You should now see your Apple TV in the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Next, Set up HomePods in the Home App

If you haven’t yet set up any HomePods, you should do that first and foremost. This involves unpacking the speakers, plugging them in, and moving your iPhone close enough to identify who you are. Each HomePod will try to update itself, so let the process complete.

With your speakers set up and ready to go, you should now specify which room your HomePods are in. This is done in the Home app on an iPhone or iPad (You may need to download the app if you have deleted it previously.). The Mac has also had a Home app since macOS 10.15 Catalina was released in 2019.

Specify the Location of Each HomePod

Launch the Home app and follow any instructions to set up your home. During set-up, you should be asked which room your HomePod is in, but you can easily change this in the Home app. To do so, tap and hold on a HomePod. Scroll down and tap the Settings cog in the bottom-right corner.

From here, you can see any pending updates and set privacy levels. Under “Room,” you can also specify where in the house this particular HomePod is. To create a stereo pair, both HomePods must be configured so that they are in the same “Room” in the Home app.

Now, Create a Stereo Pair

With both HomePods set up in the same room, you can now create a stereo pair. To do this, launch the Home app and tap and hold on a HomePod. Tap on the option to “Create Stereo Pair” and follow the set-up instructions.

Once you’ve completed the setup, your HomePods will appear as a single stereo pair in the room you specified. You can undo this at any time by tapping and holding on the pair, scrolling down and tapping the cog icon, and choosing “Ungroup Accessories” in the options.

For as long as your HomePods are grouped, you will be able to select them as an audio output on your devices. This includes your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and, of course, Apple TV.

If you only have one HomePod and would like to use it as a mono speaker for your Apple TV, you can do so by simply skipping the process where you pair the two HomePods. You will still be able to choose a single HomePod as your audio output in the next step.

Use Your HomePod Setup for Apple TV Audio

The final step is to designate your HomePod stereo pair as the primary audio output for your Apple TV. When you first turn on your Apple TV after setting up your speakers, you may be asked whether you want to use the stereo pair as your primary output.

Use HomePods as Apple TV Speakers
Apple

If this option doesn’t appear, head to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Output. Here, you can choose your HomePod stereo pair if you have one (or a single HomePod if you don’t have a pair).

You can also quickly switch between TV speakers (or a receiver) and HomePod output by pressing and holding the Play button on your remote and choosing between Apple TV, HomePod, and any other wireless audio devices you have connected (like AirPods or Bluetooth headphones).

Other Things Your HomePod Can Do

Apple’s smart speaker line-up was bolstered in late 2020 with the launch of the HomePod mini. While the HomePod mini can’t do home cinema audio via the Apple TV, it is a surprisingly rich-sounding mini smart speaker. If you have multiple HomePods, including the mini, you can use the multi-room audio features of AirPlay 2 to listen to music wherever you are in the house.

Also new to 2020 with the release of tvOS 14 is the ability to use your HomePod as a home intercom.

RELATED: How to Use Apple’s New Multi-Room Audio Features in AirPlay 2





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